Giving Microsoft Edge a try on elementary OS. It’s nice but very clearly a Chrome-based browser. It feels super non-native in this middle ground between a Windows 10 app, Chrome, and a GTK app (because it picks up just a couple of things from your desktop settings).

It does the gross-but-expected thing of adding its own software source to as root when you install. That can totally break system updates—which has happened several times with Chrome—and could maliciously add software as root. Hope you trust Microsoft as root on your system.

Microsoft: PLEASE release this officially as a Flatpak on Flathub! It has even wider distribution than just a .deb or .rpm, and requires far fewer permissions and less trust—which is a good thing.

(Also: know that it will almost certainly be released to Flathub unofficially by the community. It would make more sense to just work with them to get it there officially and better supported!)


Ah, first dark pattern discovered. Default search engine is Bing (fine). But when you change it to something else, it actually keeps the search on the new tab page as Bing. And it focuses the search bar when you open a new tab. So you still use Bing even though you don’t want to.

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Microsoft, if someone dug into the buried settings to explicitly NOT use your search engine, THEY DON’T WANT TO USE IT. Don’t make them go back and change another buried setting to use the address bar for search on the new tab page—especially without explaining the implication.

Installing “progressive web apps” (sites with some extra metadata to support being “installed” to the system) seems to work well! And the titlebar has the correct layout without broken, overlapping buttons like Chrome. Wrong window icons, but right layout for elementary OS.

Netflix, Disney+, and YouTube all work smoothly. YouTube supports up to 4K, but it looks like Netflix and Disney+ might be limited to 480p (but they don’t actually say). My guess is Widevine DRM doesn’t like Linux.

Ooh, there’s a screen for managing/uninstalling web apps, and it actually works! Nice! This is WAY better than the flow with “Create Shortcut” in Chrome.

Also, hardware security keys (like Yubikeys and Titan Security keys) work as expected in MS Edge on Linux. They work in Chrome, so this is expected, but still worth mentioning. They also work in Firefox.

@cassidyjames when's the last time Microsoft cared about what YOU want?

@cassidyjames only the lowest security level of widevine drm works on linux, since there's no protected media path. Some streaming services require higher drm levels in order to get hd streams, and 4k is usually restricted to the highest level, requiring hardware "trusted" compute and protected media.

@cassidyjames OMG you actually installed that crap😉 Just kidding lol I installed the preview on my Windows machine at school (sh, don't tell) when it was first announced last year. I find it to be much nicer graphically than Chrome, though it would still be my third string browser (after Firefox and Brave).

@cassidyjames I'm pretty sure this is a bug. If you change the "Search on new tabs uses search box or address bar" option to "Address bar," it'll use the correct search engine even if you start typing in the box on the new tab.

@cassidyjames Or maybe that option is their excuse for the new tab sarch dark pattern. I'm not sure how cynical I should be yet.

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